Obama Iowa Bound…Again

May 17, 2008 3:39pm

ABC News’ Sunlen Miller reports: On Tuesday, while the polls are closing in Kentucky and Oregon, Sen. Barack Obama will return to Iowa, the state that launched his campaign in the limelight. The campaign confirms that the senator will hold a rally in Des Moines with his wife Michelle Obama.

"It will be nice reunion with everybody who helped us get started," Obama told reporters as he ate popcorn today at a fair in Keizer, Ore.

The last time Obama was in the state was Jan. 3, the night he won the Iowa caucuses in a surprising victory, and took off that night for New Hampshire.

The return to the early state is one more signal that Obama is looking ahead to the general election: Iowa will be an important battleground state if Obama runs against John McCain, a state which Obama will vie hard for.

The night is also symbolic for Obama’s campaign — when Obama will likely win the majority of the pledged delegates based on the outcomes of the Kentucky and Oregon primaries. While Obama still will not have the 2026 delegates he would need to clinch the nomination, the Obama campaign is playing up the symbolism of the majority mark.

On Wednesday night, Obama was asked by a reporter if he would declare victory Tuesday night if he reached the majority of pledged delegates.

"We will declare that we have the majority of pledged delegates," Obama replied flatly.

Obama is expected to win in Oregon, and Sen. Hillary Clinton is expected to best Obama in Kentucky.

Last Tuesday, after the polls closed in West Virginia, Obama followed a similar strategy: He held an event in Missouri, a state that has already voted. Obama visited Michigan this week and has plans to visit Florida next week.

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